Tag Archive | Remembrance

Remembering Harry Nilsson on his Birthday

Harry Nilsson Grave Stone

The late, great singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson was born on this day, June 15th, in 1941. I recently watched the unbelievably well-made documentary, Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)? which is now available on DVD via Netflix.

I’m a huge fan of Nilsson’s music, as he reached the height of his popularity in the sixties and seventies, when I was growing up, so I thought I knew a lot about the guy. But Who is Harry Nilsson? gave me quite a schooling on the details of Nilsson’s life and career that I couldn’t have imagined.

This insightful documentary goes way back to his childhood, his family life, his early career writing songs for others that grew into his own recording career as a solo artist, his film soundtrack projects, personal friendships with other songwriters and musicians (Nilsson was a favorite artist of all four Beatles and he maintained close friendships with John Lennon and Ringo Starr until his death) and a wildly in-depth overview of his recording process via interviews with those he worked closely with (the interviews with producer Richard Perry alone are worth the time it takes to watch the film).

Of course, it’s not like you don’t know how the story is going to end. A well-covered topic in Who Is Harry Nilsson? is the artist’s ridiculously indulgent and debauched Rock Star Lifestyle, which lead directly to his early death at age 52 – a tragic waste of an extraordinary and irreplaceable talent.

I was entirely captivated, entertained and profoundly moved by the life story of Harry Nilsson, who was extremely respected for his talent and considered by his peers to be the greatest American singer of his generation. There is no doubt that his influence is vast and deeply felt even today. Harry Nilsson died on January 15th, 1994 from heart failure brought on by a lifetime of alcoholism and hard drug abuse. If he were still alive, he would be celebrating his Birthday today. Happy Birthday, Harry, we still miss you.

Advertisements

RIP, Levon Helm

Levon Helm Drumming
Image Source

Musician and Actor Levon Helm (Born Mark Lavon Helm), best known as the Drummer for The Band, has passed away on April 19, 2012 after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 71 years old. I was fortunate to see Levon play drums once, during a taping of the the short-lived Sundance TV Show, Spectacle, which was hosted by Elvis Costello. Levon appeared on the Build a Band episode, where he was joined by fellow musical legends such as Nick Lowe, Richard Thompson and Allen Toussaint. What an amazing set those guys put together! The East Portland Blog has an excellent Obit and remembrance of Levon’s life at This Link that’s both heartfelt and extremely compelling. Worth checking out even, or perhaps especially, if you didn’t know much about him. RIP, Levon. You will be missed.

Remembering New York Dolls' Drummer Jerry Nolan

New York Dolls Jerry Nolan Sylvain Sylvain and David Johanson
Jerry Nolan with Bandmates Sylvain Sylvain (Left) and David Johanson (Right) (Image Source)

On This Date in 1992: New York Dolls’ drummer Jerry Nolan died while in a coma after suffering a stroke a few weeks earlier in New York City. Nolan was 45 years old.

Remembering Johnny Ramone


Johnny Ramones’ Grave Marker at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, CA (Click Image to enlarge)

Ramones’ Guitarist Johnny Ramone (Born John Cummings) passed away from prostate cancer on this day, September 15, in 2004. He was 55 years old.

Remembering John Entwistle

entwistle.jpeg

On This Date, June 27th, In 2002: Who bassist John Entwistle was found dead in his hotel room at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas one day before The Who were to kick off their 2002 tour. It was later revealed he died of a heart attack. Entwistle was 57 years old. Speaking of casinos, the new casino bonus games online offers a unique and memorable customer orientated space for online gaming. Try it now and win real prizes!

You can read a collection of brief remembrances of John – including one from yours truly – written by the staff writers of Ink19 Dot Com at this link.

Dancing in the Dark, Walking Through the Park and Reminiscing

WTC Lights Memorial
“An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it.” –Mohandas Gandhi

I’ve been sitting in my office on Wall Street – which is about four blocks from the former site of the World Trade Center – since before 8:00 AM and not one person who’s called on the phone or walked by my desk has even mentioned that today is the sixth anniversary of the day those towers went down. And what’s most surprising to me about that odd fact is that…it doesn’t surprise me at all. Like a lot of other people who were in NYC on that day six years ago, I’d just as soon move on from the continuous analytical overhaul of an event that no one will ever be able to erase from public consciousness. It was a pretty crappy day in my experience for innumerable reasons. It devastates me still to think about how we lost hundreds of truly heroic firefighters, who died needlessly in a doomed high-rise that no one had any business running into. I hate knowing that thousands of innocent people lost their lives simple because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. And it breaks my heart that New York citizens like my friend George Tabb are fighting life-threatening respiratory ailments right now caused by exposure to the toxic dust at ground zero. What a fucking waste of life this all amounts to.

More After The Jump!

Continue reading